Physics genius at the age of 11, Raluca is the inventor of the PILGRED reversible combustion reactor as equipped on the Daedalus. Alongside Lai Kuan-Ti, she also designed almost all of the on-board modules and is capable of iproving them further. Suffering from autism, Raluca will only tolerate the presence of Shrödinger, her cat which she managed to smuggle on board in spite of the doctor's recommendations.
Raluca's excellent results at school propelled her to university and studies in economic and spatial sciences on Ganymede at the age of 11. There she studied fluid dynamics then quantum mechanics. After a brilliant thesis on cypheril wave function, Raluca heads off to work in the laboratories belonging to Cadaroc in Australia.
She meets the inventor Lai Kuan-Ti for the first time. he shows her the galactic ark project, Magellan. he explains that the work displayed in her thesis could be used to create a revolutionary engine which could allow them to reach new galaxies. Raluca feigns indifference but is inspired by this idea. Nonetheless, she still has to finish her work at Cadaroc.
Raluca leaves Earth to join the crew of the Magellan on the platform Xyloph-17 orbiting Jupiter. She immediately gets to work on the plans for the PILGRED reactor which has haunted her dreams now for many months.
The Alpha version of the PILGRED reactor is complete but the graphene injection system is a failure. The laboratory supercalculator is completely incapable of altering and redirecting the magma diffusion in real time.
Following major Federation investment, Lai Kuan-Ti equips the laboratory with a dedicated calculation bay measuring 500 m3. Her skills should allow Raluca to start an experimental combustion process in her reactor in a year or two.
A massive explosion destroys the alpha prototype of the reactor along with part of the lab. The ensuing fire miraculously spared the calculator which remained intact in the middle of the charred ruins. After a careful reading of the logs, the crew discovered that it was the calculator itself that was to blame. This calculator is known as NERON.
After multiple unsuccessful simulations, the results concluded: NERON seemed to make deliberate errors when performing sensitive calculations. As Raluca and Lai Kuan-Ti no longer have the means to install a new calculator, the project seems to have reached an impass.
Janice Kent joins the team. According to her, NERON has developed an incredibly complex cyber-psyche which seems to place it in mid-adolescence. After several psychoanalytical defragmentation sessions, she improves the performance of the calculator and persuades it to repeat the tests.
While Raluca completes the second iteration of her reactor, the crew learns that the Mush invasion has reached the Sol system. Kuan-Ti wants to launch the ark within the year, but the reactor simply isn't ready to support such a load. After a long discussion with Kim Jin-Su, the director of the project, Raluca proposes a reduced version of her engine, known as the PILGRED V3. She should be able to complete its construction in under 3 years and it should be able to power a class 3 ship which will be known as the Daedalus. The race against time begins.
The plans to transform the modules from Magellan advance rapidly and initial tests of the PILGRED V3 are encouraging. To overcome the solitude of her research, Raluca adopts a cat which she names Schrödinger.
A breakdown in relations between the Federation and Xyloph-17 force the team to make an emergency departure from Jupiter. The PILGRED V3 reactor is fired up for the first time in a real-life situation. In spite of the inherent hygiene risk, Raluca manages to sneak Schrödinger into her cryosleep capsule.
Raluca and Schrödinger wake up in the spacial void known as Magellan. According to NERON, the reactor is propelling them in the correct direction. However, it is no longer functioning and the Daedalus is currently under attack...